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Heart Lash Out At McCain Campaign's Use of "Barracuda"

September 5, 2008 9:05 AM ET

Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has the nickname "Barracuda," which inspired the use of the Heart song of the same name during Palin's speech at the RNC on Wednesday night. Heart sent out a statement Thursday afternoon announcing they had sent a cease-and-desist letter asking the campaign to stop using the song. "The Republican campaign did not ask for permission to use the song, nor would they have been granted that permission. We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We hope our wishes will be honored." Their wishes were not honored, as after John McCain's RNC-ending speech last night, Palin joined him onstage to the sound of "Barracuda." This set off Nancy Wilson, who told EW.com "I think it's completely unfair to be so misrepresented. I feel completely fucked over." Soon after, they issued another, more scathing statement:

"Sarah Palin's views and values in NO WAY represent us as American women. We ask that our song 'Barracuda' no longer be used to promote her image. The song 'Barracuda' was written in the late '70s as a scathing rant against the soulless, corporate nature of the music business, particularly for women. (The 'barracuda' represented the business.) While Heart did not and would not authorize the use of their song at the RNC, there's irony in Republican strategists' choice to make use of it there."

Heart are the latest rockers to butt heads with whoever chooses John McCain's musical selections. Jackson Browne, John Mellencamp and members of Boston have all lashed out at GOP candidates for using their music without permission.

Related Stories:
Jackson Browne Sues John McCain Over Campaign Commercial
John Mellencamp Asks McCain to Stop Using Tunes
"More Than a Feeling" Writer Says Mike Huckabee Has Caused Him "Damage"

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Song Stories

“Try a Little Tenderness”

Otis Redding | 1966

This pop standard had been previously recorded by dozens of artists, including by Bing Crosby 33 years before Otis Redding, who usually wrote his own songs, cut it. It was actually Sam Cooke’s 1964 take, which Redding’s manager played for Otis, that inspired the initially reluctant singer to take on the song. Isaac Hayes, then working as Stax Records’ in-house producer, handled the arrangement, and Booker T. and the MG’s were the backing band. Redding’s soulful version begins quite slowly and tenderly itself before mounting into a rousing, almost religious “You’ve gotta hold her, squeeze her …” climax. “I did that damn song you told me to do,” Redding told his manager. “It’s a brand new song now.”

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